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A pontifical commission (Latin : pontificia commissio) is a committee of Catholic experts convened by the Pope for a specific purpose. The following is a list of commissions, the dates they began and the pope who established.
Former pontifical commissions include:
Pope John XXIII was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 28 October 1958 until his death in June 1963. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was one of thirteen children born to Marianna Mazzola and Giovanni Battista Roncalli in a family of sharecroppers who lived in Sotto il Monte, a village in the province of Bergamo, Lombardy. He was ordained to the priesthood on 10 August 1904 and served in a number of posts, as nuncio in France and a delegate to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. In a consistory on 12 January 1953 Pope Pius XII made Roncalli a cardinal as the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca in addition to naming him as the Patriarch of Venice. Roncalli was unexpectedly elected pope on 28 October 1958 at age 76 after 11 ballots. Pope John XXIII surprised those who expected him to be a caretaker pope by calling the historic Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), the first session opening on 11 October 1962.
Pope Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in August 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council, which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms. He fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements.
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. The Roman Curia is the institution which the Roman Pontiff ordinarily makes use of in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office and universal mission in the world. It is at the service of the Pope, successor of Peter, and of the Bishops, successors of the Apostles, according to the modalities that are proper to the nature of each one, fulfilling their function with an evangelical spirit, working for the good and at the service of communion, unity and edification of the Universal Church and attending to the demands of the world in which the Church is called to fulfill its mission.
The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) is the oldest among the departments of the Roman Curia. Its seat is the Palace of the Holy Office in Rome. It was founded to defend the Catholic Church from Heresy and is the body responsible for promulgating and defending Roman Catholic doctrine.
Traditionalist Catholicism is the set of beliefs, practices, customs, traditions, liturgical forms, devotions, and presentations of Catholic teaching that existed in the Catholic Church before the liberal reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), in particular attachment to the Tridentine Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass.
The Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, previously named Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), is a dicastery of the Roman Curia, erected by Pope Paul VI on 19 May 1964 as the Secretariat for Non-Christians, and renamed by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988.
Christianity started as a movement within Judaism in the mid-1st century. Worshipers of the diverging religions initially co-existed, but began branching out under Paul the Apostle. In 380, Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, and a power on its own after the Fall of Rome. The Middle Ages saw persecutions of Jews following the outbreak of the Black Death in Europe in the 14th century. The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s saw improvements in the relationship following a repudiation of the Jewish deicide accusation and addressed the topic of antisemitism. Since the 1970s, interfaith committees have met regularly to address relations between the religions.
The Secretariat of State is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the central papal governing bureaucracy of the Catholic Church. It is headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State and performs all the political and diplomatic functions of the Holy See. The Secretariat is divided into three sections, the Section for General Affairs, the Section for Relations with States, and, since 2017, the Section for Diplomatic Staff.
In the Roman Curia, a congregation is a type of department of the Curia. They are second-highest-ranking departments, ranking below the two Secretariats, and above the pontifical councils, pontifical commissions, tribunals and offices.
Jorge María Mejía was an Argentine cardinal of the Catholic Church.
Eugène-Gabriel-Gervais-Laurent Tisserant was a French prelate and cardinal of the Catholic Church. Elevated to the cardinalate in 1936, Tisserant was a prominent and long-time member of the Roman Curia.
Achille Silvestrini was an Italian cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served in the Vatican diplomatic corps, either in Rome or abroad, from 1953 to 1990, and later as Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches from 1991 to 2000.
The Pontifical Biblical Commission is a pontifical commission established within the Roman Curia to ensure the proper interpretation and defense of the Bible.
Pastor bonus is an apostolic constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988. It instituted a number of reforms in the process of running the central government of the Catholic Church.
The Pontifical Council for Social Communications was a dicastery of the Roman Curia that was suppressed in March 2016 and merged into the Secretariat for Communications.
Summorum Pontificum is an apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI, issued in July 2007. This letter specifies the circumstances in which priests of the Latin Church could celebrate mass according to what Benedict XVI called the "Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962" and administer most of the sacraments in the form used before the liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council.
Pope Paul VI's reform of the Roman Curia was accomplished through a series of decrees beginning in 1964, principally through the apostolic constitution Regimini Ecclesiae universae issued on 15 August 1967.
Holy See–Israel relations are the diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the State of Israel, as well as a concordat defining the status and fiscal and property rights of the Catholic Church and related entities within Israel. Formal diplomatic relations between the two states were established after the adoption of the Fundamental Agreement by the two States on 30 December 1993. A Vatican Nunciature in Israel and an Israeli embassy in Rome were simultaneously opened on 19 January 1994. From the Vatican's point of view, the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states is part of the Christian–Jewish reconciliation; and from the Israeli point of view, the normalization of diplomatic relations. Prior to the establishment of diplomatic relations, the interests of the Catholic Church in Israel were looked after by the Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Custodian of the Holy Land, all of which continue to function.
The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews is a pontifical commission in the Roman Curia tasked with maintaining positive theological ties with Jews and Judaism. Established on 22 October 1974, it works alongside the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, previously named the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), is a dicastery whose origins are associated with the Second Vatican Council which met intermittently from 1962 to 1965.